When Our Worlds Collide -- At Home.

It takes 20-something hours to fly halfway around the world.  20-something hours with your knees stuck in your chin due to the majesty of coach seating.  And it stinks.  Stinks like the airplane food you have to eat for those 20-something hours.

It is possible you will also have to spend the night in an airport during those 20-something hours, and almost inevitable that one or more pieces of your luggage will be lost.

But, nevertheless, after the 20-something hours, you will arrive halfway around the world.  And if you are really lucky, you then will be able to board some type of odd public transportation to get you even deeper into the bowels of halfway around the world. 

And then you can say that you have arrived.  Arrived at "the mission field."  The people will touch your skin and point at your blue eyes, and they will stare.  You will buy clothes that look like the "natives," and you will feel very missiony.  You will do your best to muddle through the language, and you will end up asking for "a cat's banana television" instead of the bathroom.  You will learn to drive on the other side of the road, and you will convince your taste buds that weird food is good...even if it might be considered domesticated animal in the States.

It's what the mission field is all about.  Taking Jesus to people that don't speak like you.  Or look like you.  Or live near you.  It's what we give our Christmas offerings for. 

Or is it?

What if the mission field was right down the street from you?  What if you could drive your minivan emblazoned with your children's sports stickers to the mission field?  What if you could do it while eating a quarter pounder with cheese and drinking a chocolate shake?  What if you could wear your Old Navy bermudas and a camp tee-shirt? 

Impossible.  That's not real missions.

Real missions is trading your satellite and DVR for a grass hut.  Exchanging your air conditioning for mosquito nets and malaria shots.  Switching out pepperoni pizza for curries made from Fido and Flicka.  Everyone knows that.

That's real missions.  No question.

Or not.

Missions is loving on people.  No matter if they are right next door or a 20-something hour plane ride away.  Missions is meeting people where God would have us meet them.  No matter if it is in a dirt road village in the jungle or in a suburb full of million dollar homes.  God's children wear rags.  And they wear Gucci.  They go hungry at night, and they gorge themselves on caviar and expensive champagne. 

And it's just as much missions to go downtown as it is to go to China.

Have you ever seen anything so precious? I'm not sure that I have.  Because when I see this picture all I see is God's goodness and grace.  I see His mercies just a'pourin'.

That's missions, friends.  And it isn't happenin' in an African village.

It's happenin' in the Georgian suburbs.

And Jesus is pleased as punch about it!


My bestest friendy, Tiffani, has experienced the wonder that is "Home Missions."  She's been lavished upon by the Father and been handed moments of ministry that are doable.  And close.  And so riveting.

Isn't she gorgeous in that picture?  Can't you just see Jesus radiating?

Please please please go HERE and read her story.  You won't be the same afterwards. 

And then get up, ask the Lord for opportunities, and go out in your own communities and serve. 

You'll never be the same. 

I promise.


Your communities are bursting with opportunities for you to get involved.  Your local church will have unlimited paths for you to journey down.  If you would like to get more information about the North American Mission Board and its work thorughout the United States, you may visit here.


Tiffani said...

Lord bless my soul.

This spoke volumes to my heart. Such truths!!!...I'm a bucket of tears now and reading this makes me want to hold her even tighter.

Gosh. You knew just what to say. The perfect compliment to the words in my heart. But, I'm not surprised there, my dearest. Not.at.all. I am blessed by your words but moreso by your heart.

I love you.

theelizabethhighsmith said...

1. i have a confession the suggestion of a quarter pounder and chocolate shake make me want to go see if they need any lovin down at the hamburger joint. i'm looking for my shoes....

2. let's bottle tiffani up and sell her, to pay for the hamburger and shake of course. though she's worth enough to buy out McD's.

3. kidding aside that post her story is moving thanks for the reminder of what missions is!

Jim said...

Sometimes out.a.the.blu you do punch in just the right place. I'm glad we had those "20 hour" experiences together, but even more so to read again that you made the connection of what's really and truly real missions - not place, but people that God loves.

I love you bunches for your "punches"!

Marla Taviano said...

I love, love, love this post, Amber. And Tiffani's comment just melted me. What a BEAUTIFUL day!! Praise you, Jesus!!

Carpool Queen said...

When we were stateside and people would say they couldn't do missions, it always made me so sad.

They can pray. They can give. And they can go out into their own communities.

Gretchen said...

Just last week I was talking to a wise older gentleman and he kept saying a phrase that has stuck with me: you don't have to get on a plane to do missions .

Now I'm wondering if you had the same conversation with a guy from NC ... or maybe the Lord is really trying to speak to me about this.

Thanks for a great thinky post, friend!

Sami said...

Please tell me that "cat's banana television" was from personal experience!

Unknown said...

Love your team blogs! I feel inspired to share the love of Christ right where I am and wherever God may lead. Bless you, sweet girl!

Mich said...

Beautiful words, sister dear.

Love you much!

Anonymous said...


Angie said...

Love Tiffani's story! And you're right, we all need to remember - the mission field is wherever God puts us!
I think "home" missions keeps you honest. Anyone can keep up a facade for a week or two in a place you'll never see again. But to witness to the person next door or down the street, the person who sees you 365 - that keeps you honest!